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Editor’s Note: The results of this study suggest that carnitine supplementation may be beneficial for people with Lyme disease.
Serum carnitine concentration is decreased in patients with Lyme borreliosis
Lyme borreliosis (LB) is a serious infectious disease. Carnitine plays a crucial role in metabolism and inflammatory responses. Carnitine may be important in improving neuronal dysfunction and loss of neurons.
To evaluate serum carnitine concentration in adult patients with various clinical types of LB.
Groups: 1) patients with erythema migrans (EM, n=16), 2) neuroborreliosis (NB, n=10), 3) post-Lyme disease (PLD, n=22) and healthy controls (HC, n=32). Total (TC) and free (FC) carnitine were determined with the spectrophotometric method.
TC levels (44.9±10.4, 28.0±8.4, 35.9±15.6 μmol/L) in the EM, NB and PLD patients were lower than in HC (54.0±11.4 μmol/L), p < 0.001. FC levels (32.7±7.7, 23.6±6.8, 26.3±11.2 μmol/L) in the EM, NB and PLD patients were lower than in HC (40.5±7.6 μmol/L), p < 0.001. AC levels (12.2±5.2, 4.4±2.6, 9.6±7.4 μmol/L) in the EM, NB and PLD patients were lower in the NB and PLD patients than in HC (13.5±8.40 μmol/L), p <0.001. AC/FC ratio was 0.31±0.14, 0.18±0.09, 0.39±0.33 in the EM, NB and PLD patients.
LB patients exhibit a significant decrease of their serum carnitine concentrations. The largest changes were in the NB and PLD patients. To prevent late complications of the disease a possibility of early supplementation with carnitine should be considered. Further studies are required to explain the pathophysiological significance of our findings.
Source: By Kępka A1, Pancewicz SA2, Janas RM1, Świerzbińska R2. Serum carnitine concentration is decreased in patients with Lyme borreliosis. Postepy Hig Med Dosw (Online). 2016 Mar 4;70:180-5. doi: 10.5604/17322693.1196388.